Print this Page

Forgot Password?

Like Spirits?

Like DISCUS on Facebook

Stay updated on the latest issues impacting the spirits industry. The DISCUS Facebook page contains news clips, action alerts and opportunities to get involved. Like us now!

read more

There's no beverage of moderation, only the practice of moderation.

Understanding Moderation

Part of responsible drinking is understanding that a standard drink of beer, distilled spirits and wine each contains the same amount of alcohol. It's not what you drink, it's how much that counts.

read more

There's no beverage of moderation, only the practice of moderation.

Committed to Responsibility

For more than 75 years, the spirits industry has adhered to a rigorous set of standards for beverage alcohol advertising and marketing. Click here to learn more about the Code.

read more

Liquor law leaves money on the table

January 30, 2010 07:00 PM

POINT OF VIEW Repeal Ban on Sunday sales

Gov. Brad Henry recently described Oklahoma’s budget condition as a "crisis” and cautioned that "important programs throughout the state are suffering,” calling the situation "critical.” Not surprisingly, lawmakers are looking under every seat cushion at the Capitol for extra funds to keep programs running. However, at least one cushion has yet to be uncovered.

MultimediaPhotoview all photos Despite America’s overwhelming repeal of Prohibition more than 75 years ago, Oklahoma remains one of the last holdouts by continuing to ban the sale of alcohol at private retail stores on Sundays — a ban that costs the state millions annually in overlooked tax revenues.

As Oklahomans debate various policy options to generate new revenue, legislators should consider adopting Sunday sales like most other states, including neighbors Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and New Mexico. Texas, too, is poised to consider Sunday sales during its next legislative session.

Consumer demographics have changed since 1933. Sunday has become the second-busiest retail shopping day of the week. As consumers spend Sundays at malls, shopping for groceries and eating and drinking at restaurants, Oklahoma’s spirits merchants have no choice but to turn customers away at the door. As a result, the state flushes millions in much-needed tax revenue down the drain while forcing private small-business owners to unwillingly inconvenience potential Sunday customers.

According to a recent economic analysis of statewide Sunday sales, Oklahoma stands to gain more than $3 million in added state tax revenues simply by repealing this outmoded sales ban. When every penny counts, that’s significant.

A national analysis of states that allowed Sunday sales between 2002 and 2005 (12 states) showed that in 2006, each state saw an average 5 percent to 7 percent increase in tax revenues. Importantly, these states saw zero negative social impact such as increased drunken driving or underage drinking. Colorado, the most recent state to enact Sunday sales, even saw its 2008 alcohol excise tax revenue collection increase by 6 percent despite the toll of the recession.

Nationwide, states have seen the positive effect of Sunday sales on consumers, small-business owners and the state treasury. Anti-competitive sales bans, regardless of the industry, don’t make sense in today’s economy. That’s why state leaders across the country are striking them down for good.

Oklahoma should be no different. It’s time for state legislators to give serious consideration to repealing this Prohibition holdover that’s long outlived its relevance.

Jenkins is director of communications for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

Read more:

CONTACT: Telephone: SCROLLER Publication Name: The Oklahoman Publication Author:


© 2018 Distilled Spirits Council of the United States | Equal Opportunity Employer
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Inc., prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, gender, disability, or other protected status.